| LONDON -- SuperH Inc., the joint venture formed by Hitachi and STMicroelectronics to own and develop the SH series of RISC processors, has ceased licensing activity and its engineers are to be taken back into Renesas Technology Corp. and ST, according to a report in the Silicon Insider newsletter. |
SuperH's sales and licensing staff are being let go while the engineering teams would develop new processors for their companies.
SuperH was spun off in April 2003 just before the arrival of the industry's longest and deepest downturn. Subsequently the company has struggled to license its 32-bit microprocessor throughout that time and for a long period retained only Hitachi and STMicroelectronics as licensees.
SuperH was not only late to the intellectual property market -- arriving after ARM Holdings plc and MIPS Technologies Inc. -- but was also expensive, according to one source. As recently as 2003 the company was asking $2 million for a license, at a time when ARM and MIPS charged less than half that amount for processors that are more popular and better supported, the source said.